Gavin "Gav" Shipman (b. 1979) is a fictional character in the television series Gavin & Stacey. He is portrayed by Mathew Horne.

Nicknamed "Gavlar", or "Gavalar", he‘s a funny and enthusiastic level-headed protagonist from Billericay, Essex.

Characterisation[edit | edit source]

Gavin is twenty-eight at the start of the series and is an only child, who lives with his mother and father, in Billericay, Essex. His best friend Smithy, with whom Gavin plans to drink every variety of beer in the world, lives just down the street. His wife is Stacey West and his parents are Mick and Pam Shipman.

By the end of series 3, he is living with Stacey and his mother-in-law, Gwen West, in Barry, South Wales. It is revealed in the 2019 Christmas Special that he and Stacey now have three children — Harri, Caitlin and Megan — who are all, having inherited Doris' house, living next door to Gwen.

Character History[edit | edit source]

Series 1[edit | edit source]

Gavin is 28 when the series starts. He is an only child, and when the series starts he still lives with his loving mother and father in BillericayEssex. He works for a company called ICB and spends his spare time with his best friend Smithy along with his other friends Gary & Simon, Dirtbox, Fingers, Budgie, Swede, Chinese Alan and Jesus. He is a big fan of Tottenham Hotspur (as is Mathew Horne) and is often seen wearing his Spurs shirt. In the course of his job, he had to deal with a company called Bedmores, based in Barry.

The Bedmores representative he had to correspond with was a woman called Stacey West. The pair found they got on very well and after months of talking and flirting, they decided to meet in London. They agreed that Gavin would bring his best friend Smithy, and Stacey would bring her best friend Nessa. They met up, went clubbing and had sex. When Stacey and Nessa boarded the coach back to Wales, Gavin took a taxi home, jumped in his car and drove all the way to Barry, and met Stacey when her coach arrived in Barry. The two quickly told each other that they were in love and, within 9 weeks, they had gotten engaged and married. Gavin, and his father Mick, often play the "straight men" in the series, baffled and frustrated by the antics of their family and friends.

Gavin's main personality flaw is that he is slightly spoiled, possibly due to being an only child, and gets irritated when he does not get his way. He is not always very sensitive; when Stacey, who is very attached to her hometown, gets depressed and homesick upon moving to Billericay, Gavin is more confused than concerned. Gavin is also less willing to discuss his private life than his wife. He finds it odd that Stacey is so eager and ready to spill intimate details to Nessa, Bryn, her mother and her brother. Despite these differences, Gavin loves Stacey enormously, demonstrating this by finding a job in Wales so he can move to Barry, despite previously expressing a dislike for it.

Gavin in Series 2.

Series 3[edit | edit source]

In Series 3, he agrees with Stacey to try to have a baby, only to discover she had not been on the pill for a year. Although he is very angry about Stacey not telling him the truth, he becomes much more depressed when he learns that he has fertility problems. Eventually, he comes round, and has a serious discussion with Stacey, deciding they will carry on trying to conceive for a few months, and they should start looking at alternatives afterwards. However, in the final episode, Stacey discovers she is pregnant, and Gavin is just as thrilled as she is.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Prior to Gavin's relationship with Stacey, not much is known about his sexual or romantic past - all we know is that he lost his virginity at 14 'between two wheelie bins at

Gavin with his wife, Stacey.

[Smithy's] mum's house'.

He loves Stacey and could never think of leaving her, and stays adamantly loyal when they are confronted with the eventuality of not having children.

Him and Smithy, or "Smithster", have been friends forever, and Smithy has become rather dependent on "Gavlaaar". He often becomes over-emotional when Gavin suggests anything to do with moving away or not going on a night out with him. Gavin is usually exasperated at Smithy but still loves him, despite his singing phonecalls and territoriality over his food.

When he gets married to Stacey, his best mate Smithy finds it hard to accept that Gavin now has more than one priority in life. In Series 3, Gavin moves to Wales with Stacey, meaning he is further away than ever from Smithy.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Gavin drives a blue Citroen Saxo.
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